Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Comparing Star Trek 2009 with Wrath of Khan/Star Wars

I think the first time I watched the new Star Trek I was blown away by it, and happy to see those characters back in action. The second time, I was a bit more critical, especially about parts ripped from Star Wars. By the third time, I realized I was basically watching Wrath of Khan with Star Wars references thrown in. Don't get me wrong, I love the new actors. Kirk was spot-on. Egoistical rebel. I liked Spock being all conflicted and angsty as well. But, cut him some slack. His planet exploded. Also, he beat up Kirk again, which is awesome, and a nice tribute to the actual beat-downs Shatner (As Kirk.) got from pointy-earred Nimoy in the 60s. That said, let's compare:

The villains are similar. Both Khan and Nero are named after emperors. Both want revenge for the destruction of their planet. Khan strands Kirk on a dead planet. Nero strands Spock on a snow planet (which is where Luke meets ghost Obi-Wan; here Kirk meets old Spock.) Also, both movies were about reluctant farm boys who fly into Space after going to a bar. Khan had Genesis, which once injected into a planet, blows it up. Nero had Red Matter, which once injected into a planet, blows it up. Wow. Princess Leia was forced to watch her planet blow up. So was Spock. As in The Wrath of Khan, Kirk accidentally sent Khan to a dying planet. (Space Seed) Spock accidentally blows up Romulus with Red Matter. (Star Trek)
Finally, Spock jumps into a fighter, and trusting in his emotions, destroys the Doomsday weapon. Finally, Luke jumps into an X-Wing, and trusting in the Force, destroys the Doomsday weapon.

In conclusion, I loved the actor portrayals of these classic characters. Spock's backstory especially. But, the movie did borrow a lot from Wrath of Khan and Star Wars. Khan is the most iconic Star Trek villain, and J.J. Abrahms is "more a Star Wars kid" in his own words, so the result is logical. Although, the Star Trek movie did borrow a lot from the greatest villain in Trek+Star Wars IV formula, the actors re-created the characters perfectly and everyone involved made it a good movie with great special effects. This movie can stand on its own as almost unrecognizable from its sources. Everything comes from somewhere, and this was a good starting point, I think. Where else to start but from great movies, with great new actors?

No comments:

Post a Comment